If you’re not yet, you will be! With DRI2012 in New Orleans, we thought it’d be fun to fill you in on the fantastic foods of this great city. If you end up at some boring chain restaurant eating bland hamburgers while you’re in New Orleans, you’ll never forgive yourself. Be prepared to savor forkfuls of the culture, tradition, and recipe perfection that have earned New Orleans its culinary legacy. Three of our favorite dishes are featured below, but for the full list of a dozen delicacies, click here.
Gumbo: A trip to New Orleans is not complete without a steamy helping of gumbo. Treat yourself to a culinary carnival created by a mix of West European, African, Caribbean and native Indian influences. Classic gumbo recipes call for okra simmered for hours in a stock made as rich as possible using a variety of meats, onions, celery and bell peppers. Served over rice, variations include seafood gumbo with shrimp, oysters and crabmeat, or chicken gumbo with andouille sausage.
Crawfish Étouffée: A local favorite, crawfish étouffée could be called gumbo’s spiced-up, savory cousin. Stemming from the French word for “smothered,” this thicker Cajun creation employs hot spices, including cayenne pepper, a mélange of onion and green pepper and hints of garlic. With loads of fresh crawfish, this tantalizing Southern treat is typically enjoyed over rice.
Beignets: Sometimes called a “French doughnut,” these decadent treats were brought to Louisiana by the Acadians. A beignet is a square piece of dough that, upon being deep fried, forms a slightly doughy yet slightly crispy pillow. Most often, they are covered with powdered sugar, but savory versions, with fillings such as crawfish or shrimp, are also seen on New Orleans menus and are served as appetizers.